By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán

(December 12, 2023) – I am returning from San Francisco, where I witnessed an incredible display of brilliance from our now super lightweight champion, Devin Haney, who completely dominated two-time champion Regis Prograis.   Haney, undefeated in 31 fights, joined the list of pound-for-pound popularity list and will certainly be on the shortlist for Boxer of the Year by achieving tremendous victories over Vasiliy Lomachenko and Prograis in this 2023.
This year was full of successes for our beloved World Boxing Council.   Let’s take a tour of what this wonderful process has achieved.   In January, we dedicated a few days to meet and carry out strategic planning, and thus present the work plan with measurable objectives and goals.   On the 16th, we held a mass in the Guadalupe shrine to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the death of my father, Don José Sulaimán, and we had the presence of many people from the boxing family who have accompanied us from the first day with love and unwavering friendship.
Unfortunately, I could not be present at the mass as I had to travel to New York to attend a hearing before the Court of Arbitration for a case presented by a fighter. The incredible thing was that we were all present, while the accusing party did not attend … and testified by zoom! An incredible and lamentable lack of respect for the process.   February was the month that began with seemingly endless trips around the world.   I left for Thailand to be present at the WBC’s amazing Muay Thai festival in Hua Hin, where the world of this sport met.
The Guinness Record was achieved for the largest wai kru class, in which almost five thousand people gathered to perform this traditional dance, which is a wonderful spectacle displaying an ancient ritual. In addition, great fights were held between fighters from 30 countries, and I had the great honor of meeting with the Prime Minister of the nation with the eternal smile.
February continued with a tour of the Middle East, which I began in Saudi Arabia where I witnessed the main fight between the king of social media, Jake Paul, who, at last, crystallized his dream of becoming recognized as a real boxer by facing Tommy Fury. On the same card a tremendous title fight took place. Badou Jack dramatically won the WBC cruiserweight title by knocking out champion Ilunga Makabu in the tenth round.
From Riyahd, I attended the Sports Leaders Business Summit at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I visited Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, and my last stop was in Qatar where a variety of important meetings and events took place with the company of Fahad Al Thani, who is the first ever professional boxer from his country and now leads the administration of our sport.
During the month of April, the WBC office worked diligently in support of the promoters bringing to Mexico the first mega event in more than 20 years, as Canelo Alvarez was to face John Ryder at the Akron Stadium in Guadalajara, which was sold out with more than 50 thousand fans. The brand-new Puebla-Jalisco commemorative belt was presented, showcasing the beauty of the cultures of these two states.
May was a very important month for our organization. In addition to Canelo successfully defending his titles in Guadalajara, the fight was officially recognized as “Fight for Peace” under the auspices of the WBC program BoxVal from Pope Francis Foundation. In that same month, our organization celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation in a memorable gala at the traditional Arroyo Restaurant, with the attendance of WBC members, personalities of all sports, and champions from all over the world including, Evander Holyfield, Roberto Duran, Devin Haney, Julio Cesar Chavez, and so many more.
DID YOU KNOW…? Evander Holyfield was the first cruiserweight world champion who later won the world title in the heavyweight division? In addition, Evander is the only fighter to regain the heavyweight title on four different occasions. Oleksandr Usyk now joins him as former cruiserweight champion and current heavyweight champion of the world.
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